Is Keyword Rank Tracking Still Important for SEO Experts?

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There is so much more to SEO than just ranking keywords

The relevance of keywords for SEO has come under discussion in recent times. There are sites which rank highly for high-volume keywords, but do not see the conversions needed because the keywords do not measure up to user intent. Keywords are only relevant insofar as they are able to drive traffic and increase conversions for higher ROI. Ranking highly, sadly, is no guarantee that you will see the traffic and conversions that will make your investment worth it.

Many SEO Platforms offer licenses according to the number of keywords allowed in the system, but not all these keywords are worth tracking. This is true for larger businesses with thousands upon thousands of pages. SEO experts working in such fields should only report on keywords that have high rankings as well as conversions within the reporting period, as well as those that did well in paid search efforts. Closer attention should be paid to long-tail keywords, which do not drive high-traffic volumes but drive conversions because they are more specific.

If you’re targeting many keywords, you can begin tracking them once they have moved into striking distance, which means that they deliver visits. You can use manual checking every once in a while or third-party tools to identify these keywords.

Keywords and page ranking

Whether or not you need keywords on a page to rank depends on your specific domain. If you are considered high-authority by search engines i.e. you have high-quality links and relevant useful content, you may find that you’re ranking for keywords not specifically mentioned within your pages. Query expansion also allows you to rank for search terms that are related/relevant to your target keywords, since search algorithms are now able to interpret synonyms. Therefore, in your tracking efforts, you should be interested in synonyms of your target keywords, especially when they are performing well.

Query chains and intent

Google uses contextual data to determine the intent behind specific search terms e.g. a searcher entering the term Apple could be looking for the computer or the fruit. Google will then follow previous searches to deduce that the searcher was looking for electronics and give results related to the computer brand rather than the fruit. What this means is that in studying your keywords, remember that there is an element of personalization in the results and this will complicate how you interpret the results.


High keyword rankings are only significant if they deliver corresponding ROIs, and hence should be tracked alongside other metrics that directly contribute to revenue and traffic. Keyword tracking alone is subject to a lot of modifiers, which would make your results unreliable to some degree.

Gavin is an internet marketer and co-owner of Gavin lives in Barry in south Wales with his wife, Didem and cats, Munchie and Pixie.